Well, if there's one thing that's been good about my insomnia while I'm here (couldn't sleep until after 8 am last night, or around 6 am the previous two nights), it's that I've gotten a lot of good reading done in my sleeplessness. I've finished the book I was reading before I came, and started and finished two others. One was a children's book, to be sure (I decided to re-read The Secret Garden), but the other was a normal novel. That I started reading at about 9:30 pm last night and finished just past 8 am. Heh. I've got two other books here with me, but one's in Japanese and the other is a collection of essays on technology and I'm not sure I feel like reading either today. So instead I think I will leaf through my new sed/awk book and see if I can figure out why my tht.rss script is giving me the total finger on a particular awk command on this machine.
A nerd is me!
Basically no plans for tonight... I've never really been one for New Year's celebrations, other than the normal delight I have in fireworks, and so being here is a good excuse to not do anything. All in all, I foresee a quiet, quiet day (I woke late, reference the couldn't sleep until 8 am bit, and the mountain shadow is dissuading me from going out walking) of fucking around with my computer and reading, a perfect end to vacation. I'll be back in Seattle around 2 pm tomorrow, and back in school on Monday (god, I hope I can get the insomnia under control over the weekend) and thus does the quarter cycle pick up again.
(breathless) Just got back from a lovely hike around the back property. It's sunny today, with only a few clouds, and so within 30 minutes of waking up (late late late), I was raring to get out the door and take advantage of the weather. Jim didn't want to head out with me, so I stuffed Suzuran in my pocket and used my headphones as makeshift earmuffs. I started up into the pasture, but within a few minutes, it became obvious that my camera was a liar—it had claimed to be fully charged, but the batteries were about to give out. I headed back down to get more batteries.
After the first abortive attempt, however, things went much more smoothly.
The air was dry and cold as I hiked up the back path behind the house to the top of the ridge, and I had to stop several times to ward off dizziness or catch my breath. My body's not used to the dryness or the altitude here, and at one point I was worried I'd faint. I sat at one point on an outcropping of rock and just gazed out at the sun-drenched plains far below me. The way the Front Range jerks out of the flatness of eastern Colorado is truly breathtaking, particularly on a wonderful sunny day.
As I walked along the ridge, I thought a lot about Ben and Conor. The last time I'd hiked the ridge, they'd been with me. I did so love that pair of dogs, and they both died in the last month and a half. Wolfhounds have a short lifespan, so I suppose I should be used to things, but I so very miss them. My grandparents are down to only one dog, the least they've ever had, a standoffish girl named Bridgit. She'll let me pet her every now and again, but she certainly doesn't want to go out walking with me. So I walked the ridge alone and remembered how nice it was when the boys were alive.
After a while, I decided to head back down into the pasture, so I climbed down a deer trail and wandered through the upper pasture, taking pictures and humming along to the music in my ears and squinting in the sunlight. I'd had my scarf knotted around my waist earlier, but I was glad that I'd brought it along once I was no longer hiking up a 50 degree incline; the wind was blowing and it was cold in the shadows. The sun was rapidly falling behind the Coal Creek peaks behind me and the mountain shadows lengthened as I walked.
Down by the old cabins, I spotted some deer, and spent a long time sitting on a rock and watching them. Daddy watched me warily, Baby skittishly hopped around, and Mama totally ignored me while she picked through the brown grass. I nearly squealed with childish glee when the whole family nimbly leaped over the fence and into the neighboring pasture. There is nothing quite like being alone in a snowswept and sun-dappled high mountain field with some deer.
I wandered down towards the house, stomping through crusted snow and smiling at the few bits of color left in the winter: a dried rosehip here, an obstinate tree bud there. I had just crossed through the gate out of the back property and turned to shut it when I sighted Bay and Heleem up in the lower pasture. Beaming, I headed back up to say hello to Grandpa's two remaining horses. Bay kept his distance, but Heleem perked right up and beelined for me. I felt bad that I had no treats for him, but I spent a wonderful ten minutes or so talking to him while I scratched his ears and he used my palms for salt licks and searched my pockets for goodies. We've always called Heleem "the Dog Horse," because he thinks he is one; he's been known to try to come in the house, and I've never seen a better horse for walking around with him trailing behind. I was sorry I'd spotted him so late, but the mountain shadow had completely fallen and even burrowing into his warm winter coat wasn't going to keep me warm for long. And so I kissed his cheek and bid him goodbye, waved to Bay a few meters away, and skipped back over and down to the gate, singing in the wind and gleefully breaking holes in crusted snow.
I think it was the best two hours of the last week.
One of the things that makes coming to Grandma and Grandpa's place coming to Grandma and Grandpa's place is a very small thing indeed: root beer floats. They don't make them for me, and in fact I buy the root beer and ice cream as often as not. But for whatever reason, despite the fact that I make them nowhere else, it is a common thing to find me late at night curled on the south-facing couch, reading a book and drinking a root beer float. I love them, and so it puzzles me that I unconsciously reserve them for here. I do not think to make them and refrain elsewhere; I do not come here thinking "I will have a root beer float because I am at my grandparents!" Instead it is just natural that I should stand, stretch, and pad over to the freezer while here, pull out some ice cream and dish it into a glass before pouring root beer over it in stages, spooning off the foam after each addition and sucking it off the spoon, and finally settle back on the couch to drink it, and that I should not do this anywhere else.
I do wonder when I started doing that.
Spent the evening with my aunt and her family, confirming that Caitlin has indeed blossomed into an acceptable human being and that Laura still has a way to go and that my Aunt Nancy is compassionate and worried about my life and well-being and that Uncle Bud has a good turn with a snide joke. All in all, a more pleasant night than I've had with that bunch in a while, although I suspect that may in part have been due to the fact that I found a way to tactfully cut things off after not as long as may otherwise have happened. I love Aunt Nancy and her family... in small doses.
In a way, I am astonished every time that I come here. I have family? It is so easy to forget for me, in between cards and visits, that they even exist; is it any wonder, so separated as my nuclear unit is from anyone else, that I have grown to be unconcerned by long separations from friends? My family, after all, is always there, even when I have not talked to them for six months or two years. Out of sight, out of mind, back in sight, back in mind, and no lessening of the feeling. The idea doesn't transfer to all of my relationships, of course, but I find the connection suggestive nonetheless.
I just finished watching Stand By Me, a movie that I somehow managed to not see through all of my childhood through some happenstance; Bryce gave it to Mom for Christmas and so I stole it. A pleasant evening spent finishing The Anubis Gates, munching on leftover pot roast, and watching a movie on Takako (if Grandma and Grandpa have a DVD player stashed around here, I have yet to find it) while curled up on the couch. I may even be tired, who knows... I ended up not being able to sleep until around six am last night and was roused at noon to run errands. Six hours isn't a whole lot of sleep and I scrupulously have avoided caffeine since I was weak at 4 and had some coffee, so maybe, just maybe... maybe the insomnia won't come tonight. I feel like I'm not going to particularly be in luck on that one, though. Sigh.
Watching a few music videos I snagged before flying out here... Save a Horse (Ride a Cowboy) is on and reminds me of a Christmas eve anecdote: Mama and I sat in Bryce's room for an hour or two that evening, watching music videos and chatting. Before showing her Save a Horse (Ride a Cowboy), I warned her, giggling, that it was rather like the singers had decided they wanted a rap video. She looked at me quite deadpan and asked, "Is it full of bling?"
It was also priceless how she laughed so hard at a couple points in the 1985 video that she cried and we had to stop the video for her to gather her composure. Watching videos with my mother regularly is one of the few things I miss about not being at home very much. Stupid family politics.
(frustration) Well, at least the last couple painstaking hours of Bluetooth experimentation ending in failure doesn't appear to be our fault: a Google for "mac os x" and "motorola mpx220" reveals that other people are having the exact same mysteriouso problemos. Ah well. I feel ever so much more informed about modem configuration than I have in a long long time. Like, perhaps, since the last time I was regularly using a modem. Which was about six million years ago... or at least six.
Flight went just fine other than some crazy turbulence the last couple minutes before landing (the last time I was thrown around that much in an aircraft was flying through African thunderstorms in a six-seater plane when I was 13). It's been a low-key day full of naps and chatting with my grandma and idly watching football with my grandpa (Jim was watching more than I was) and fucking around on my and Jim's computers. All in all, exactly what I ask for in a vacation. I was going to do work on the research group website over the break, but Sandy appears to be going fullbore on that and I appear to have forgotten the stupid password anyway. Hooray for enforced do-nothing-ness.
Things still suck, for those wondering. Amnesty is killing my head and breaking my brain.
I had hoped that if I finished reading my book that I would be sleepy. But rather than fall asleep, I turned off the light and stared at the barely visible outlines of the rough-hewn rock wall a foot or so from my face and began to cry. To no purpose, I know, I know, and some might laugh at me and say hey, you made your bed and now you get to sleep in it! But that doesn't particularly help the situation at hand, where it's 3:51 am and I'm stifling sobs and sniffling back tears and he's in here sleeping and I have to be quiet and I'm so goddamn confused and don't know what or when or how to do.
Having to leave the house at around 3:30 to go catch a 6:20 plane blows (not to mention that it means that I really should be asleep right now, but the snoozing was eluding me). I remember, back in the day, that if I were dropping someone off for a flight we could totally leave exactly 1.5 hours before said flight and be fine, even early. But nooooo. Not anymore. Stupid terrorists.
Spent the day pimping Takako (the PowerBook) a bit, getting Suzuran (the iPod) set up, exchanging slightly too small new leather jacket (it smells so deliciously of cow) for a slightly too large one, getting like a million links taken out of new titanium watch (the hypo-allergenicness of which will hopefully mean I can actually wear it), and generally thinking omg did I make out like a bandit this Christmas. Some Christmases are like that, I guess, but it still somewhat boggles the mind. I have to remind myself that this year I was getting early graduation presents as well, heh (licks Takako affectionately).
Hanging out with my PowerBook down on the ranch, happily running down my battery. Jim's little brother gave me (omg omg) Peter Gabriel's PLAY DVD (chock full of delicious delicious Peter Gabriel music videos), and watching those strikes me as an excellent way to use up my battery. Heh. I nearly screamed when I opened it last night; Eric looked at Jim, and laughed: "You said she'd pop." We were opening presents at nearly 3 in the morning and I was still tempted to call my mom and gloat (giggling). The best, however, was in the humor department; Jim bought me a book of 101 adorable cat pictures. I laughed so hard that I cried and had to take off my glasses to wipe my eyes multiple times as I leafed through the pages and found picture after picture of adorable kitties in things. Or wearing hats. Everyone was wildly confused except for Jim and me... I suppose that's one of the precious things about knowing someone so well: you know exactly what will make them laugh SO HARD!. I seriously almost needed my inhaler.
(shrieks and runs around the house doing the Mac dance) I can be a Mac nerd now, for really and truly! Wooooo oooo ooooo ooooo!
And I got an iPod! (keeps running around) Bryce did SO good this year! I set him a task and lo, he rises to the occasion. I so <3 my little brother that I'm actually willing to use "<3"—and that's a lot.
I have stuff I wrote on Sayuri last night, but I'll wait until later to transcribe it up... right now, WAY TOO HAPPY WITH MAC STUFF!
Backdate courtesy Sayuri.
It is 3:30 am as I scribble this into Sayuri, and I am surrounded by the detrius of my teen and early college years, the years before I had my own home in which to store things. I came in to my old bedroom to sleep, the once-yearly nod to my family, but once I was here, I was struck to dig through my bedside drawers. I pulled out piles of stuff; papers mixed in with throat lozenges and photographs and thumbtacks.
I found the pictures I'd first sought almost immediately, but my eye was caught by something else. I leafed through a series of pages, small and creased, covered with a neat, tiny script, and struggled to hold back tears. Mark's words leapt off the paper and into my memory, hauling me back to that time, almost exactly five years ago, when he headed back east forever. He wrote me bi-weekly letters for the first three months or so; I suppose, looking back, that he probably stopped after I visited him in Boston and we finally said a proper goodbye.
I feel as if I have reneged on our original deal, and for that I hope he forgives me. I think I shall have to write him and ask him, if it takes tracking down every Mark Rousculp in the country to do so.
The first two pages of one letter are missing, which upset me (ignore the fact that I was already sniffling), but as I put the last one down, a more horrible thought struck me. I tore into the mountain of photographs that I had unearthed, madly sifting and searching. As I reached the end, the tears I'd so far mostly succeeded in suppressing escaped and flowed down my cheeks. Where WAS it?!? I racked my brain, certain that no physical photographs were in boxes at my house; for a lot of reasons, none of my old pictures have followed my home changing the last few years. I ripped into the contents of another drawer, blinking past tears and fumbling past random objects. But there, under a pile of old study-abroad materials, was a packet of clippings and pictures: the things that had been tacked next to my desk in Mercer, my last dorm.
There we were, grinning into his camera in Drory's hands from across the table at The Ram. And my friend's wonderful smile reached out across five years to bring an answering one to mine.
Had an excellent date with Brandon tonight. Indian food and gab gab gabbing and Christmas presents, and my god do I miss him so (sniffle). He gave me a book and the DVD for Stargate the movie (little happy dance), just proving, as he does every Christmas and birthday, that he understands me oso well. Plus he brought me over to spend time with Rikku, his and Greg's kitten, which was completely bonus. But the best part is that for the first time in days, I'm cheered enough from being out that I don't mind being at home all alone. I shall finish wrapping presents and wish I'd remembered to get lights for my room and maybe finally put up posters and listen to music and track down candles for my desk and things shall be right in the world for the first time in a bit and it shall be good.
(pleased with self) I think I like how the cover for Mama's CD turned out. Now if she'll just find the concept as humorous as I hope she will, I'll be set.
Sigh. Fuck me, I suppose I should have tried harder to go to sleep when I first started thinking about it, at 3:30... it's 5:42 and I'm insomniac and trying to hold back sobs so that Nate and Ryan out in the den don't hear. Life's bad when you can't even have a good cry to tire yourself into sleep. This particular night is often hard; I'm looking at having to spend time with my family tomorrow and there's never any of my friends around. Strangely, this year, though, I'm almost looking forward to seeing my mother tomorrow... perhaps only because I'll be able to cry, but what the hell. It's nice to not be looking towards tomorrow in total horror.
Scribble scribble write it out of me, pass the sadness out through my fingertips and into the ether where it won't block my sleep. Ignore that this solution is a stop-gap measure; fretting does no good now no matter how much I'd like it to. Running fears and worries over and over in my mind right now is not productive, damnit.
They've gone upstairs... perhaps I can have my cry now.
Stupid day of getting up way too late and the rest of things, while unbad, were yet not exactly good. I'm all full of words that start with "D" at 3:30 am... dark, decisions, destroyed... and Atsuko has quite nicely furnished me with music that is all of that. I want Jim to be home to bury my face in his shoulder and cry. I want someone to care, to wave some sort of wand and make everything all better. Sadly, that someone really should be me even if I don't want it to be. Blah.
Blah, blah, BLAH.
I feel as if the birth of the new year is going to be mentally bloody.
Five am on a foggy morning, and I can't sleep. Dream? I feel as if I'm on a stubbornly-refusing-to-fracture ice floe; the energy that strains to crack it is mysteriously deflected out into the general system to violently break apart all the ice around me. My chunk, however, steadfastly holds together and slowly freezes me to death.
I suppose I'll try crashing on the couch with the TV on. Where are my kitties when I need them?
Lovely day spent seeing Craig off to the airport, galivanting about the ID and Northgate with Rob, and watching Equilibrium and Triplets of Belleville with Jeff and Seth and Kyle and Jason. But coming home to an empty house has a way of taking the wind out of my sails. I had always been of the idea that living alone would be ungood for me, and time in Japan last year just proved it. I don't even have Lars to pet tonight, and my neighborhood is empty. But at times like these, just when the reality of my depressing situation is laid to rest at my feet... Brian steps up. Hooray for insomniac friends to play Cribbage with! I'm telling you, if I go back to Japan, the interweb is so coming with me.
Yay, presents! Mini-Christmas with Kelly at midday, and with Monika, Craig, and Patrick at night. Many hugs and thank yous and all that nice jazz, and I'm so close to done with shopping I almost can't stand it. My day has been fantastic.
And thus, December 20th, 2003 is laid to rest, all of its horrors buried by the goodness that was today.
Done, and done (emphatic nod).
(upset) I had the most gruesome dream last night.
I'm living in a dorm, although it's tricked out much more to look like a decent hotel. Lars and Liam live there with me and a female roommate with a strange name (the dream was quite long and involved prior to the point that I will relate, by the way). One afternoon, Greg T and another PC lead are in my room, discussing parts that I need to order for them, when Liam jumps, rather clumsily, to the windowsill from the outside. He wants in. Greg opens the window and my cat hesitates, looking at him and the other boy suspiciously with his bright green eyes. I laugh and tell the boys that he's always like that while snapping my fingers coaxingly, low to the ground. Liam jumps down and heads right for me, which is when I notice that he's walking strangely. My darling smart kitty nuzzles my fingers once and then heads into another room to lie down on top of a wooden trestle table.
As he staggers away from us, we can see that his fur is stained heavily with blood.
Greg and I have a brief argument about something before I rush in to see what's wrong with my cat. When I reach Liam, I gasp. Broken bones are sticking wetly out of his hindquarters, and blood is starting to pool in the knots and whorls of the wooden table. Shrieking at Greg to help me, I begin to detach the table top from the supports; the two of us use it as a stretcher and race through the U-District on foot to the vet's. As we run, Liam begins to separate, his back half stretching further from his front, organs and shiny slickness spilling out from the fissure. His blood drips through channels in the boards and stains my hands. I am sobbing.
We reach the vet, and I plead with her to help my cat. She looks at the makeshift stretcher doubtfully and when I follow her gaze, my heart stops. Although he is somehow still faintly breathing, all that is left of Liam is his front half. "I don't think there's anything I can do about this," the vet says, shaking her head. I set the stretcher down, tears streaming down my face, and spot the rest of Liam, by the door where it must have slid off when we came in. I gather his legs and tail and pulpy viscera in my arms, and offer them to the vet, choking out, "would this help?"
She sighs once before bursting into frenetic activity. What is left of my dear cat is rushed into the back of the office, and I am left to sob, gasping and barely able to breathe, on a chair in the front.
Jim woke me at about 8:30 from where I had fallen asleep on the couch. My eyes flew open and I grabbed his arm, demanding to know where Liam was and if he was okay. I had been crying in my sleep.
Terms: how too fuck a babysitter
The saddest thing is the whole too/to confusion. Or perhaps the saddest is the fact that upon closer inspection, the actual referer is from the tenth page of google hits. I present you with humanity. We're an odd bunch.
Well, if nothing else today, I got shitloads of shopping done.
(yawn) Late night, but I got a reasonable amount of shopping done, had delicious Meh-hikan food for dinner, and watched The Last Samurai, among other things. All in all, I'd say it was a successful day. I'd say more, but I slept a bit fitfully last night and am feeling the siren song of bed pulling me away...
I have had to come to grips with a harsh reality today: I cannot have what I want.
Because, you see, and it pains me to say this, but it's true... CSS (or at least HTML 4.01 Strict CSS) does not calculate the height of absolutely positioned DIVs correctly.
What I want is simple, really. I want to be able to declare a header DIV, a content DIV, two navigation DIVs, and a footer DIV, in that order, and have CSS put them where I want. Which would be, currently, in the standard zoggins configuration (but it shouldn't have to be). What have I discovered? That I cannot declare things in that order and absolutely position the center three without the footer DIV flying up to be directly below the header DIV and behind the content DIV (because I don't know how tall the content DIV will be on any given page, I can't declare the top value for the footer; I have to position it relative, and had assumed it would fall, relatively, below the three DIVs above it, but it doesn't, the little bitch). If I float the content and navigation DIVs, the footer appears in the right place, but in that case, I have to declare the DIVs in their visual order (navone, content, navtwo).
Booooooo. Why can't the absolutely positioned DIVs tell the relatively positioned one declared after them what height they are? Grumble.
Blah blah blah BLAH
"Never in the history of care packages has so much been spent without the possibility of getting laid."
John is the best.
Well, it's done a day late and the latter sections are not as "something" as I'd like them, but whatevah. I probably could have finished it on time if I'd taken the last two days off work, like Greg did, but ah well. I will, however, take a certain masochistic glee in the fact that my 11 page paper (she requested 12-15 pages... mine is 15 counting the appendix and references) would be have been 16 pages if I'd played the formatting games he did. A "thbpt" to you, sir, in finest Bill the Cat fashion!
(skipping) All that's left for this quarter is grading and Japanese final, both of which will take time but be utter cake. AND it's only 2:15 am! Yay six hours of sleep!
I sort of have a half-formed thesis for my paper. Now let's see if I can wrangle the paper itself out of my wretched, wretched brain.... at least, if nothing else, I feel oso much better read about the whole weblog phenomenon as such. The paper just asks me to care a little bit more than I do.
As I try to start writing, to commit ideas in my head to some kind of permanence, I find myself frozen. What if there's something else I haven't looked up, I panic, what if someone else has already thought and written about what I am thinking and about to write, and she finds that and thinks me a fraud? Will it be okay that I don't have any counter-examples? Do I have enough to say to fill my daunting page requirement? The only way I can force words out is in longhand, safe from the threat of being "part of my paper," entirely divorced from the most frightening question of all: Will I get a good grade on this?
The blog entry above is not the way to become famous in the blogging world, for it lacks the single most important element to formal success at The Blogging Way: the sound of Authority. But how is authority conveyed in the world of blogs, and why is it so important to an author's success? How is success measured in this strange new land, and what's going on with this blog thing anyway? It is this exact set of questions that I hope to address in this paper.
Oh, the twist, it kills me! Lord, I need to fix that last sentence (cringe).
Sigh. Why must I be such a hostage to my dreams? Overslept by about four hours beyond when I wanted to get up today, all because I was dreaming and didn't want to leave that world.
I'm very close to needing an extension on my theory paper, I realized as I brushed my teeth a bit ago. I'll be able to finish up the Info Design paper and look at the conference paper submission and do a scan of one of my student's final project today, but there's certainly not more than that that will get done. That leaves two full days for the 501 paper... and I really don't think that's enough. Crap.
My (slightly paraphrased) phrase of the day, concerning the whole "Blog Thing": "both voyeurism and exhibitionism have been morally neutered and are on their ways to becoming ordinary modes of being." Hah. And I loves Kelly. The end.
Holy. Fuck. I slept for 15.5 hours. I went to bed around 2:30 am, and just now got up. At fucking 6 pm. I knew my body was stressed, I knew I was tired, but GODDAMN. I mean, really.
I'm nigh unto speechless. I've not slept that long for years.
(snigger) Jim's suggestion for decorations on the way home: that we take a large plywood board, drill several holes through it to read "Go go gadget Jesus," poke little bunches of Christmas lights through the holes, and hang said board somewhere prominent on the house. I think it's brilliant.
(gnaw gnaw gnaw gnash)
Yeah. Week over. Thank fucking god. Now if next week could just be over as of right now, I'd be set.
(calming down) O dinner, how I needed you. At 5:45 tonight, sheltering from the rain in a covered bus stop, as I gnawed ravenously on a roast beef sandwich that Jeffie, my hero of the night, had brought me, I suddenly realized that I'd not eaten real food since approximately 1:30 the previous afternoon (apparently, people are supposed to consume more than beer, hot chocolate, coffee, four cookies, more coffee, and altoids in a 24 hour period, who knew?). Whoops. The sandwich kept me going through the concert (more about that in a moment), but being able to nuke stir-fry leftovers immediately upon coming home was excellent. I've been waaaaay over the line tweaky all day, and finally, at 1:34 am, I'm starting to feel a bit more normal.
(heh) Kelly got home so it's now more like 2:30 am, but hey, whatever.
Today has been totally spastic. I apparently turned off my alarm at some point, and woke up around 10:45 to the sound of Beth calling me. I flipped out, convinced it was a day I needed to be TA'ing at 11:30 (mistaking the correct day appears to be the trend of the week), and that just set the tone for the entire day. In some ways things were excellent (Japanese class, for example), and in other ways things were dreadful (having to call Dell people on the devil device, for example), and in most ways things were, as I labeled them at the beginning of this paragraph, just really rather spastic (I'd forgotten just how goddamn tweaky I get on adrenaline, caffeine, and no food... partway through Info Design Julie crashed into her desk, laughing, and informed me that I needed food so badly she didn't have the words to explain how bizarre I was being, hehe).
Got out of class tonight and bolted to meet Jeffie, Seth, and Kyle at the 74 bus stop. The first one that came, however, got completely filled with swaying indie kids, so we opted to catch the next one and get to The End's Deck the Hall Ball a bit late; sadly, this meant that I missed Snow Patrol, who I would have preferred seeing to either Keane or The Shins (bands numero dos and tres, respectively). Speaking of swaying indie kids... man, I felt positively old tonight. At least half of the people at the concert were no older than 12, I swear to god.
Anyway, The Killers and Franz Ferdinand were reasonably fun to listen to (disclaimer: indie rock isn't exactly my favorite style normally, but Seth wanted to go and I wanted to go with Seth, heh) and Jeffie and I got to rock out a bit and generally get sweaty during their sets. I'm rather disappointed; the two Franz Ferdinand songs that I heard tonight that I didn't have and really liked turn out to be very different from the album versions, which are boring and really just not all that. I think I should see if they've got a live album out, as their jamming is much more interesting than their formal stuff.
I had to laugh after Franz Ferdinand, however, because after listening to several hours of the biggest bands in current indie rock, I came to the conclusion that really, they just all want to be The Cure. Or rather, all of their lead singers desperately wish to be Robert Smith, so bad.
When Modest Mouse came on was when I got pleased. For one, Brock in no way sounds or wants to sound like Robert Smith, and for two, the 12 year olds in the audience either couldn't handle them or had to be picked up by their mommies and thus left en masse a few songs in. Oh, and I happen to like their music generally, too. Heh. They played a bizarre set, totally rearranging several of their songs, and chattering rather nonsensically between songs, but they highly entertained me and played the songs I wanted them to play, and lo, things were good. My only bitch is that one of the songs they rearranged was Float On. The original arrangement would have been perfect for a howling stadium full of people singing along at the top of their lungs, but the version they did just... well, wasn't. Oh yes, I'm full of the clarity tonight.
Gar... 2:44 am, how do you come so quickly? I submit to thee and shoo myself off to bed... listening to the album version of Float On. Heh.
(uploaded in the morning...)
Augh! Fuck you, network, fuck you! What goddamn bad timing for an outage can you have? Craig mentioned he'd been having random outages since they got his DSL in today, so I'm assuming that's what's up (theoretically we switched over to Speakeasy's OneLink service today), or I seem to vaguely remember that there was some sort of overall planned outage to happen tonight... but damnit all! Be all, like, working and stuff when I get home, and then be all, "I'm going to go out right in the middle of talking to Kelly, and just be a little bitch!" Phooey.
More stuff cleared off my plate today; I'm down to the paper that will be easy to write and the paper that I really don't want to write. I suppose I've got a Japanese final in there somewhere, but I'm really not worried about that. So... woo?
In class on Monday, Mary mentioned that she'd gone to an Oliver Sacks lecture and that, among other things, he had exhorted his audience to above all else, "honor your ideas." "Write them down," he said, "immediately! Do not tell yourself, I'll write it down later... for that is nothing more than a near guarantee that your idea will be forgotten." It's so very true and it made me think of how many times I've had fantabulously brilliant ideas that have dissipated by the time I've made it anywhere I could write them down. Sigh. So much promise, our brains have, to be frittered out into nothingness with such depressing regularity.
The Wedgwood Ale House (the neighborhood bar of choice where I joined Monika and Craig for a beer after class tonight) had lights strung all around inside tonight, enough so that they could be used as the sole illumination in the place. I think I've not seen anything so lovely in a long, long time; after we paid our tab I just sat at the table and rested my chin on my arms and gazed at the decorations and grinned in the soft and warm red-gold light. I love Christmas lights so... it distresses me to have suddenly realized tonight that since I got back from Japan, I've not had any up. I think I shall have to put some up this weekend... it's nigh unto a moral imperative.
Fuck me. As I discovered today when I went up to do my presentation this afternoon and my prof just kind of stared at me, not only did I think last night was Tuesday night but I apparently thought that Tuesday was Thursday. For whatever reason, when I switched presentation dates with Andrea, I'd gotten it in my head that she was slated to go 12/7, not 12/9. Bleh. That was horrifyingly embarrassing. I was up there, though, and so Dave was like "whatever, go ahead." I guess it went okay; Jerry seemed to think I needed to hurry up (and I did go long), but Erin and Kate seemed to really be interested, so I'll call it a draw and just be ever so grateful that's over with.
Well, although I feel much better for having taken a three hour nap this evening, I am now up again at 12:33 am and wide fucking awake. Not awake in the right way to work on that loc plan, which is indeed now due tomorrow, but I want to do that at school tomorrow anyhow. So instead I'll fold laundry and read some Japanese and listen to music and be amused at the fact that if you google for "Mozilla won't love you" as a phrase, you get one hit and that is a page of mine. Heh.
Yay working on presentations late at night!
[01:32] Laeren: do you think "verbosity" is a word?
[01:33] Laeren: my last slide's bullets currently are:
[01:33] Laeren: Was a perfect medium
Avoided verbosity through visible navigation
Nav structure affords a lot to jumping around without losing track of overall scheme
Ability to link to curricula and schedule is awesome possum
[01:33] Laeren: can you tell where in there my editing process hasn't gotten to yet?
[01:33] Laeren: heh
[01:33] Kelly - grrrl: I think you need to leave awesome possum in there
Lessee... I've got my ~10-15 minute presentation for tomorrow all slided up and ready to go; in the process, I mostly finished my last variation and am therefore in a good position to write up my dinky paper on it. But... I didn't read any Japanese tonight. Whoops. I'll... um... skim some in the morning, I guess. And fuck, I totally spaced on my goddamn localization spec. Um. I think I have to do that now. Fuck me.
(head under blanket) Is the world gone yet?
Okay, spec done (and several other things, it's been a productive couple of hours). Well, even, I think. Of course, just now I remember the bit about how we also have to have a 1-2 page localization plan. Ummmm... I guess I'll work on that tomorrow. In my copious amount of free time. Thank fucking god for office hours, I guess.
It's times like this that I marvel that people seem to think I'm organized or something. I think I get replaced by an alien around finals time. That's really the only explanation.
(staring at self a few minutes later) You know, if I hadn't for some reason thought that today was simultaneously Monday and Tuesday, I would have saved myself a lot of trouble. That spec I just turned in? Not due until Wednesday, which, by the way, is not tomorrow (where I count days in units punctuated by me sleeping). The localization plan that I started roughing out? Also not due until Wednesday, which, I will remind you, isn't tomorrow. I'm not sure whether to laugh helplessly or shriek. On the one hand, I'm totally ahead for what I was going to get done tomorrow night. On the other hand, I could have spent that time reading Japanese. How spectacularly awesome I am feeling right now just doesn't quite deserve words, but because it's 4:04 am, I'll grace the air with some choice ones.
(rubbing face) I'd feel better if I'd seen another living creature since 7 pm beyond Nate sticking his head in briefly to say hi before returning to Half-Life upstairs. Times like this are when I need my kitties, damnit.
Excellent day of fucking off yesterday: the crew and I got together for a full day of Johnny Depp and it was good. Cry-Baby, Edward Scissorhands, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, and Chocolat (in that order—we went chronologically). The only one I'd ever seen all the way through was Fear and Loathing, so I feel much better Johnny-Depp-educated now. Kelly squalled about Cry-Baby, but I adored it; its brand of silly humor was right up my alley. Sadly, now I need to get a lot of shit done in just my Sunday. Sigh.
Well, got a lot done at work today, so perhaps being stuck all alone in the office all afternoon was slightly worth it. I was able to concentrate, that's for sure. So I have a nicely reinstalled machine to offer Joan in the morning, three of my required four variations done for the Info Design project and comments ready to go on them for the presentation on Tuesday, presentation for the localization class on Wednesday more in a state of ready-to-go-ness than it was, a competing Web site found for the last localization assignment, and the only thing hanging directly over my head for tomorrow is my Japanese reading which, barring a complete onset of lunacy, I am not going to do here, goddamnit. Must... leave... empty... hive.
Of couse, the list of what I still have left to do ere the next week is out (fuck that, before the next two days are out) is just about as long. Sigh. Stupid end of the quarter.
Tonight, I learned that A) there is a certain ineffable taste that identifies each major fast food restaurant's food as being its own and B) that the ineffable taste of Jack in the Box does not go deliciously with spicy chicken sandwich. Ah well, it was the only drive-through I was near, and teach me to get something different.
Sigh. Stupid 2:10 am and the sneaking up on me thereof.
(frustration) I'm not nearly as worried as I was, so now I'm just put out. World, I hate you. I understand that deciding against me on this issue is a risk I run, but I don't have to be happy with it. Because right now, I'm really really not. In fact, I can't recall the last time I felt this particular brand of frustration so very highly. My house is empty but for me and music, with a tight knot of frustrated, angry tears burning in my throat at the unfairness of it all. A bugger of an evening it's been, with pissiness and alienation and passive agressive bullshit and nothing at all to make up for it. I'm downright tempted to just get ragingly depressively drunk... if my car wasn't closed in by Nate's, I'd drive out and scream my frustration in the dark of eighty miles an hour. But instead I suppose I'll just fight back frustrated sobs and brood in the dimness of my room. Sigh.
Well, I finished making iTunes bend to my will and publish my current song information and got some Web work done in my morose productivity spurt. I'm not sure if I exactly love my work of the last couple hours (forcing body text into proper layout and designing a header), but at least I have reduced the number of non-compliant zoggins pages by one (from around 20, I think). I hadn't thought about the fact that I was making a very similar image to the one seen here that I made sometime in the last month or so, but I guess that's the mode that my mind is in lately—stark order floating precariously above absolute chaos. Sounds about right.
Hrm. What to say, other than I am so fucking glad I didn't have to do my presentation today after all? Ummmm... it was a decent Thursday and I've had a good evening. I think I'll let that cover it.
(delighted look) I had the same first computer as Richard Lanham! Having recently been exposed to Lanham's writing in my theory class (Style: An Anti-Textbook, my new favorite book), I picked up The Electronic Word from Beth's shelf to peruse during my office hours today. I can't speak at all to the book itself yet, but this sentence on the first page made my hour:
In the decade since it became a commonplace device (as a typical lay user, I bought my first one—an Osborne!—in 1981), it has worked a revolution not only in computers but in the mythology surrounding them.
The first computer I ever used was an Osborne, and in fact do not ever rembember learning how to use it, per se... my father bought it immediately when it became commercially available when I was two, and so we had always had a computer in the house just as we had always had a sofa and a piano. It wasn't until after we moved, in 1989, that we got a different family computer (my dad had gotten a laptop some time before that), and wow baby did that 486 blow my mind (I'd gotten to use Dad's 286 laptop prior, but that was really only occasionally). Within a year or so after that, we donated the venerable Osborne to a computer museum.
But what, pray tell, is an Osborne? Only the world's first consumer portable computer, baby. It was sweet. Man, looking through those pictures is making me nostalgic (sniffle). So many childhood hours spent playing games on that damn thing, eschewing the actual monitor we had attached to it in favor of the tiny embedded display... Ah, memories.